Beware of Parasites in Mangrove Crabs and Vanamei Shrimp

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host. Parasites are divided into two, namely endoparasites that perch in the body of the host organism, and ectoparasites that perch outside the shape of the host organism. Both types of parasites can be found in aquatic biota, both in the organ and in the skin and gills of the biota.

Putri Desi Wulan Sari S.Pi., M.Si., explained that several cases of infestation or external attack by parasites were reported to have attacked aquatic biota, both in fresh, brackish and marine waters. Therefore, he and his team took the initiative to conduct research targeting mangrove crabs (Scylla serrata) and vannamei shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamaei) against ectoparasites.

“Mangrove crabs and vannamei shrimp are two of the fisheries commodities most often consumed by the community, so in our opinion it is essential to dig for parasitic attacks on these commodities, to find out and then be able to provide valid information to the community,” explained the lecturer at Faculty of Fisheries and Marine UNAIR.

A total of 80 ofmud crabs having 250 grams weight and 15cmwidth were taken from mudcrab’s enlargementpond in the District of Ujung Pangkah, Gresik,Indonesia. 150 white shrimps as samples wereobtained from Tanjangawan village, District ofUjung Pangkah, Gresik, Indonesia with 10-12cm in size. There were parasitic attacks of protozoan and crustacean species on mangrove crabs and vannamei shrimp. More precisely from Zoothamnium sp., Epistylys sp., And Octolasmis sp. species with different prevalence and intensity values.

“More than 60% of the total population of mangrove crabs attacked by three species of parasites. While for parasitic vannamei shrimp, it is still below 50% of the entire sample population, and only two species of parasites attack, namely Zoothamnium sp., And Epistylys sp., ” she said.

According to her, mangrove crabs are very susceptible to ectoparasites compared to vannamei shrimp. So people who consume seafood are expected to be more careful to choose it.

Furthermore, Putri said the three types of parasites that attack the mangrove crabs and vannamei shrimp. The first is Octolasmis sp., shaped like a sprout, clinging tightly to the host and often found in mangrove crabs. The second is Zoothamnium sp., forming a colony attacks the host, elongated cone-shaped, and often found in the gills. The third is Epistylis sp., transparent body-color, shaped like a bell and form a colony.

“People don’t have to worry about this thing, because they are not zoonotic. However, the ectoparasites can cause economic losses, due to the nature of the parasites that use the host as a food source, as well as the reduced aesthetic value of aquatic biota infested with parasites, “concluded Putri (*)

Author: Bastian Ragas

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Sources: Witular W, Kismiyati, Wulansari P.D (2019) Occurrance of Ectoparasites in Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) and White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), The Indian Veterinary Journal, 96 (09): 23-26.

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